The new sedan is available in CLA 200, CLA 250 Sport and top-shelf CLA 45 AMG form.
The 250 won't hit arrive until April 2014 however, while a CLA 200 CDI diesel model will land in February. Unlike the A-Class, there is no CLA 180 model.
In Australia, the new four-door coupe - known in development as the 'baby CLS' - will face off against Audi's new A3 sedan, due here early in 2014.
Engine options for the CLA sedan start at a higher state of tune than for the A-Class hatch.
Under the bonnet of the entry CLA 200 is Merc's 115kW/250Nm 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder. With stop/start technology, seven-speed dual-clutch auto and a frugal thirst, its fuel consumption is listed at a claimed 5.7 l/100km.
In the middle of the three-car range is the CLA 250 Sport, driven by the same 155kW/350Nm 2.0 litre turbo petrol four that you'll find in the A 250 Sport hatch. The engine is also exclusively matched to the 7G-DCT auto.
Mercedes claims a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds for the 250, with fuel use rated at 6.1 l/100km.
Topping the trio is the hero CLA 45 AMG, priced at $86,900 - marking a $12,000 premium over its hatch counterpart.
Like the A 45 hatch, the top CLA sedan is driven by Merc's mad-hat 265kW/450Nm 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The CLA 45 AMG also gets an all-wheel-drive system - again like the A 45 - taking power through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Mercedes says the CLA 45 will hit 100km/h in 4.6 seconds.
The CLA 200 and CLA 250 are both equipped with 18-inch wheels, along with Becker 'Map Pilot' navigation system and a reversing camera.
Choosing the CLA 250 also adds heated electric leather sports seats (with memory function) and the AMG Sport styling kit.
Move up to the range-topping CLA 45 AMG and there's 19-inch alloys, the AMG Driver's Package, AMG Night Package, AMG Performance sports steering wheel, COMAND satellite navigation and Harmon Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system.
Depending on the model, driver-aid and safety features include Attention Assist, Brake Hold, Hill-Start Assist, Distronic Plus, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist, Active Parking Assist, and Linguatronic voice control.
Although technically an entry-level offering at the small-car end of the Mercedes line-up, the CLA's proportions aren't far off the 'larger' C-Class model.
Measuring 4630mm long, the CLA is 38mm longer than the C-Class - although much of that is overhang, with the new model sitting on a wheelbase 61mm shorter than in the midsizer.
Note: Photos show overseas model. Australian imagery coming.
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
- CLA 200 - $49,900
- CLA 200 CDI - $50,400 (due February)
- CLA 250 Sport - $63,400 (due April)
- CLA 45 AMG - $86,900